Thank you for your interest in EXPLOREcorps and The North Carolina Arboretum! This page provides details on the EXPLOREcorps program, which offers year round volunteer and engagement opportunities for high school students, specifically in the Youth Education Department of The Arboretum.
EXPLOREcorps is a volunteer engagement program open to high school aged participants (grades 9-12) in the Youth Education Department of The North Carolina Arboretum. The program is an expansion on previous years’ youth volunteer programs (Counselor-in-Training and EcoCorps). EXPLOREcorps members are volunteers with an interest in the outdoors and conservation education, teaching children, caring for live animals, implementing citizen science, and learning about techniques and skills involved in field biology and outdoor recreation. To be considered an active member, each participant will be asked to be involved in three ways
1)Discovery Camps, 2) Special Events, 3) ecoEXPLORE Events
- Discovery Camps: EXPLOREcorps members are asked to volunteer for a minimum of two weeks at The Arboretum’s Discovery Camps. Discovery Camps are weeklong (Monday-Friday) environmental day camps for students, PreK-8th The camps aim to cultivate a sense of adventure and wonder in the outdoors, foster an enthusiasm for exploration in the natural world, and promote environmental awareness, stewardship and conservation.
EXPLOREcorps members assist professional educators in delivering programs and ensuring a positive, rewarding experience for program participants in outdoor settings. Activities include wildlife hikes, survival shelter building, outdoor games, creek walks, animal handling, and more!
Camps run from 9am-4pm, and EXPLOREcorps members are expected to be present from 8:30am-4:30pm all five days of the week. While two weeks are required to be an active member, members may have opportunities to volunteer additional weeks if the schedule allows. Members will be able to rank their preference in which weeks they volunteer on the application.
- Special Events: EXPLOREcorps members are asked to volunteer at a minimum of one special event put on by the Youth Education Department. The dates of these events may vary from year to year. Events include Great Backyard Bird Count, Box Turtle Day, Monarch Day, and more.
Duties and shift times will vary. Examples of volunteer tasks could include assisting with craft projects, leading conservation projects, helping with theme programs, etc. E-mails will be sent out to EXPLOREcorps members prior to each event as a means of sign up.
- ecoEXPLORE Events: EXPLOREcorps members are asked to volunteer a minimum of one ecoEXPLORE event. This can either be at a Skills Session on the first Saturday of every month, or at a Library Program that happens in the evenings during the week. Members will assist staff in capacities similar to those listed above in special events.
To apply, the EXPLOREcorps application can be found below. It must be submitted by April 16th, 2018. Along with the application, EXPLOREcorps requires a letter of reference from a teacher or community member not related to the applicant that outlines why the applicant would make an ideal EXPLOREcorps member. Following submission and review of the application, an Arboretum staff member will reach out to set up a short interview. If accepted into the program, a leadership and orientation training is required prior to Discovery Camps.
*Returning EXPLOREcorps members should select the “Returning Applicants” link to re-apply.
Applications and letters of reference may be submitted via email to Ericka Hincke at email@example.com, or via mail to:
The North Carolina Arboretum
C/o Ericka Hincke
100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way
Asheville, NC 28806
All application materials are due on April 16th, 2018.
With any questions regarding the EXPLOREcorps program, reach out to Ericka Hincke at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 828-665-2492.